The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is an important document for home and property owners within the UK. Failure to comply with the law results in large fines and penalties for property owners and businesses.
The grading system within the EPC can directly influence rental and sale value and make a property much more attractive to a potential buyer or tenant due to maintenance and energy costs being cheaper. Getting an EPC carried out on your property can be much cheaper and easier than you might expect and is absolutely necessary to dodge those hefty fines and hassle.
Introduced on 1st August 2007 as part of the Home Information Pack (HIP), an EPC for commercial properties, as well as domestic properties that meet a certain specification, is required by UK law for all.
Initially aimed mainly at domestic properties with four bedrooms or more, this was extended to both smaller properties and domestic over the following years. While the HIP was made redundant, the EPC stayed necessary for properties, both commercial and domestic.
With commercial properties, an EPC is necessary and mandatory for properties more than 50 square meters of floor space. All domestic properties require an EPC.
If you’re the homeowner, landlord or commercial property owner, organising the energy performance survey is down to you but can be very quick, straightforward and relatively cheap.
A good EPC with a high energy efficiency rating can be useful to a property owner as it essentially means the property is cheaper to run. This makes it more appealing to potential tenants and buyers and therefore easier to sell or let and that can make getting an EPC survey very valuable to a property owner. Getting your EPC can be as simple as calling up the correct, accredited firm and getting the survey carried out. It’s often much cheaper than you might expect.
There are a number of properties that are completely exempt from requiring energy performance certificates. They include shops, offices and warehouses which fall under 50 square meters of floor space, mixed use properties such as farms and petrol stations, unsafe properties, which are generally unused, properties set to be demolished, listed buildings and residential buildings which are used for less than four months of the year, as well as places of worship such as temples, mosques, churches, etc.
If your property falls on the borderline of the definitions above, you’re best either simply getting an EPC survey performed or asking a specialist whether your property requires the EPC legally. Better to be safe than sorry, especially with the heavy fines and hassle associated with being caught without an up to date EPC.
Penalties and Fines
The penalties and fines for failing to meet UK law and government’s requirements for energy performance certification can be quite severe. EPCs are only valid for 10 years, after which you need a new one. Failing to do so and being without one can result in costly fines and penalties. If you make any major modifications or additions to your property it’s advised that you get a fresh EPC survey performed on your property, making sure it’s completely up to date. If you’re selling or letting your property, you need to get an EPC survey done, otherwise you risk facing fines of £200, which with all the other associated costs of letting and selling properties, really isn’t what you need.
EPCs are the best way of checking and proving your property’s energy efficiency, usage and CO2 emission rates. Getting an accurate EPC grading can make your property much easier and more attractive when it comes to selling and renting and the fines and hassle associated with failing to make sure your property has an up to date EPC aren’t worth thinking about, especially when it’s not that expensive to have an accurate EPC survey carried out. Save yourself some trouble; get an EPC survey done today.
Jason McGrinder is the Director at EPC For You.
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